M-CSF, also known as CSF-1, is a four-alpha-helical-bundle cytokine that is the primary regulator of macrophage survival, proliferation and differentiation. M-CSF is also essential for the survival and proliferation of osteoclast progenitors. M-CSF also primes and enhances macrophage killing of tumor cells and microorganisms, regulates the release of cytokines and other inflammatory modulators from macrophages, and stimulates pinocytosis. M-CSF increases during pregnancy to support implantation and growth of the decidua and placenta. Sources of M-CSF include fibroblasts, activated macrophages, endometrial secretory epithelium, bone marrow stromal cells and activated endothelial cells.
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